Was being a musician your childhood dream?
No, it wasn’t. I wanted to be an actress. I remember I would stand in front of a mirror to act out scenes I had watched. Singing was just one of those things I could do; I didn’t think I would make a career out of it. Along the line, I had dreams to become a lot of things like every teenager but music came by chance. I saw an opportunity there I didn’t know existed. I started enjoying it and decided to go for it.
What were you doing before you became known?
I was doing some odd jobs to get money while trying to get into the university. I did some music backup jobs for musicians and adverts too. After a while, I joined the band, which later evolved into Lagbaja’s band.
At what point in your life did you settle into music as a career?
When I joined Colours band, I was already in school. The course I was studying then wasn’t what I wanted; I was just doing it to get a degree. It got to a point that I had to choose between my studies and music. I knew right from secondary school that I wasn’t cut out for a nine-to-five job as a career. The whole music thing was getting bigger than I thought; I started going on tours and recording albums. The songs were making waves and people were listening to them. I made the decision to settle into music fully at my 300 level; that’s over 25 years ago.
What songs brought you into the face of the people?
The songs that hit the mark were Konko Below and Never Far Away. That was when people started recognising me.
You were known to be a part of Lagbaja’s band, especially for your sonorous solos. Why did you pull out?
I felt I had reached the peak in that phase and wanted to move to the next, knowing it was best to leave when the ovation was loudest. I felt it was the right time to move; I wanted to do my own music and have my own band. I left in 2006 and started putting my band together in January 2007. Lagbaja was very supportive; he did a farewell show for me at Motherland, where we used to play. It was really nice and I felt emotional.
Has fame changed anything about you or deprived you of anything?
No, it hasn’t changed anything about me. There are responsibilities that fame comes with. One cannot misbehave in public or get away with things. You have to comport yourself to avoid unnecessary attention; that’s my personal decision though.
What are some of the challenges you faced?
I wouldn’t call them challenges, I was just dedicated to my work. I wanted people to hear my sound and I worked very hard. However, the time I had to choose between school and music was tough. It was my choice and I don’t regret it. Having to make decisions along the line was a subtle challenge; it was more of making sacrifices for me.
What inspires you as a musician?
A lot of things: events, sounds, great musicians, and people generally inspire me. Apart from being a singer, I’m a songwriter; this makes me conscious of my environment. I can pick inspiration from anything and at any time; it could be the way my family is behaving or what they are saying.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m living my dream; I’m acting now (laughs). I’ve done some acting, stage plays and a series, ‘Tinsel’. At the moment, I’m part of the cast for Wura, a movie on Showmax. It’s a challenging and interesting role for me though it doesn’t mean music has taken backstage, I’m definitely coming back to do an album or extended play.
What’s your advice to up-and-coming entertainers?
Be good at what you do. If you’re a musician or singer, you don’t have to be the best but make sure your starting point is good. Hone your craft; don’t feel you have a beautiful voice and that means you’ve arrived. Practice every day just as the people in sports do; rehearse, learn every time and be consistent. Explore, don’t limit yourself or be afraid. You may have another gift lying dormant that you don’t know.